After a long time without purchasing books I’ve published two Recent Acquisition lists in quick succession! Visiting parents = free books + many thanks. The haul wasn’t the best but I left with a fun selection of works by Andre Norton and Robert Silverberg.
Some of the covers are great (especially Norton’s Sargasso in Space)!
1. Star Born, Andre Norton (1957)
(Virgil Finlay’s cover for the 1957 edition)
I still have not gotten around to reading any of Andre Norton’s works — I now have five or so in my too read pile — this one has a pretty silly cover but looks fun (at least)! Sadly, no description of the story on the back cover….
2. Sargasso of Space, Andre Norton (1971)
(Jeff Jones’ cover for the 1971 edition)
A great image!
From the back cover, “For Sale to the highest bidder: One planet known as LIMBO. Population: ? Resources: ? Perils: ?. Riser and richer space traders turned down this cosmic pig-in-a-poke, but the crew of the Solar Queen couldn’t afford anything more secure. And their trip to Limbo to see what they had got proved that the newly discovered distant world lived up to its ominous name in every way!”
3. Up the Line, Robert Silverberg (1969)
(Ron Walotsky’s cover for the 1969 edition)
Up the Line isn’t high on my Silverberg to read list but I’ve enjoyed his late 60s and early 70s works so I picked up a very inexpensive editions of this volume. From the back cover (a different edition than the image), “Time travel spelled problems for the couriers of the Time Service. Shuttling backwards and forwards over the centuries they had to be wary of creating paradoxes — like meeting themselves watching the sack of Rome, or sleeping with their own ancestors. Of course, it also gave them the chance to amass wealth by the discreet use of their prior knowledge. The penalties were fierce and the Time Police implacable in their pursuit of lawbreakers. But it was still work taking the risk. Jud Elliott took if when he met the marvellous transtemporal paradox called Pulcheria. He couldn’t resist her charms — the effects spanned generations, and set the Time Police on his trail!
4. Daybreak — 2250 A. D., Andre Norton (1954)
(Uncredited cover for the 1961 edition)
Norton’s first novel! (the cat gets progressively more rabid in later edition covers!)
From the back cover, “Fors was a mutant. He did not know what drove him to explore the empty lands to the north, where the great skeleton ruins of the old civilization rusted away in the wreckage of mankind’s hopes. But he could not resist the urging that led him through danger and adventure, to the place where he faced the menace of the Star Men.”
5. The Feast of St. Dionysus, Robert Silverberg (1975)
(David Schleinkofer’s cover for the 1979 edition)
This collection showcases five stories written right before Silverberg quit writing short stories for around a decade — late 70s. He’s hit or miss with me and the few shorts I’ve picked up have been enjoyable.
From the back cover, “First, from the north, came the war song… that dread buzzing drone that brought all the inhabitants of the city into the streets, stumbling and falling in heaps. Into this chaos now entered the vanguard of the Teeth, shuffling forward in their bent-kneed crouch. Their eyes glinting with insatiable hungers, they came hopping into the city like a band of giant toothy frogs. The kinship of mankind meant nothing to these carnivorous horros; they saw their fellow humans as meat stockpiled by the Soul against this day.”
12 thoughts on “Updates: Recent Acquisitions N. XV (Norton + Silverberg)”
Interesting… so I’ve considered starting a collection of my own and laying out summaries of everything in each one similar to what I was doing for the 1952 Omnibus. Thoughts on where I should start? I imagine just grabbing a big box of these in an eBay auction and getting impossibly far behind right from the start.
Have you read a lot of science fiction before? If not, I suggest that you start with the Hugo Award winners for Best Novel — that’s how I found the authors which first really interested me, particularly Ursula Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, and John Brunner — after reading and procuring their most famous works I started dabbling in the more esoteric reaches of the genre — but after I had a good grounding in the late 50s, 60s, and 70s classics.
Perhaps you should track down the novel works of your favorite stories from the various sci-fi magazines you write about….
I also suggest D. G. Compton’s steller oeuvre (especially his early 60s and 70s works).
Up the Line’s not bad, but not great. Middling Silverberg, so still better than most other SF authors but I think he did much better.
Love the cover for Feast.
I’ve read a lot of middling Silverberg, that’s for sure…. Alas, it won’t be a Hawksbill Station or The World Inside….
Norton and Silverberg: nice selection. I have the three Nortons somewhere in my to-be-read box, and the Silverbergs both sound pretty interesting. (Free books from parents are the best!)
On collecting: I agree, start off with the award winners, follow the authors/styles you like, and go from there. I alternate between going after the established “great works” in the genre and the eBay lot shotgun effect, and the eBay lots can be hit or miss (though quite affordable, and have some underrated gems).
Yeah, it kind of goes like this, I read tons of sci-fi and then I give my dad the “good” and “average” ones and then he complains about my ratings 😉 He thinks I overhype the “brilliant” ones. But whenever I come down to see him we stop by the used bookstores and he pays for a few 🙂
I haven’t tried the ebay shotgun effect yet… hahaha….
Two comments on Sargasso of Space:
1) Wow, what a beautiful cover. Jeff Jones was terrific. I have spent time googling around for Jones’s work, but somehow never saw or have forgotten this brilliant painting, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.
2) “The Sargasso of Space” is the name of an Edmond Hamilton story from the Sept 1931 Astounding. (There’s a little SF trivia for you.) I recall enjoying this straightforward adventure story about rocketships and men in spacesuits, but can’t recall any details.
Yeah, I like Jones’ cover better than Emswiller’s Ace double edition cover — which is still fun.
I’ve not read and of Hamilton’s works: I definitely want to read The City at World’s End among others…. What’s your favorite of his?
Mostly I’ve just read short stories by Hamilton, and not very many.
“What’s It Like Out There” is probably the best, a serious adult story. “The Man Who Evolved,” “The Accursed Galaxy,” “Sargasso of Space,” and “Thundering Worlds” are very standard SF stories. “Thundering Worlds” is probably the most fun of these, “The Man who Evolved” probably the least fun. I’m sure I’ve read others, but they are not coming to mind.
I’ve read one Hamilton novel, Return the The Stars, which is a sequel to a book I did not read. (I didn’t know it was a sequel until after I started it. I guess “Return” should have been my clue.) It was kind of mediocre. The Steranko cover is kind of fun.
Hamilton is good enough that I will certainly read more of his large body of work, but I am in no rush to do so.
As always, thanks for the suggestions — and warnings 🙂
I think Star Man’s Son is about as good as Andre Norton gets. After a few of her books she seems to have a kind of boring sameness. Nothing really to think about from her stories compared to Heinlein or Asimov.
I agree to a point. I find her juveniles just as fun as Heinlein’s — especially Sargasso of Space. However, I’ve only read a few so far so perhaps the “boring sameness” will kick in after a few more — hehe. I’m in the Heinlein is overrated camp (read 20 + ) of his novels… Although I do enjoy a few….